A local family law attorney is accused by the State Bar of misappropriating nearly $1 million that was supposed to be held in trust on behalf of a client. 

Heather Stanley took two checks totaling $1,052,311.57 and deposited them into an account she controlled at Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, according to documents filed by The State Bar of California on Dec. 5. 

She was supposed to maintain the full amount on behalf of the client, but "dishonestly or grossly negligently misappropriated" $955,000 for her own purposes, the documents said. 

According to the documents, the checks were received on or about Aug. 5, 2010 and May 2, 2011. Stanley failed to give the client an appropriate accounting of the funds, despite eight requests issued by the client, the documents allege.

The misappropriation of the funds occurred between July 25, 2013, and Nov. 14, 2013, the documents said. 

Stanley wrote to a state bar investigator in August that she purchased cashier's checks and had returned all the funds to the trust held on behalf of her client, documents said. She also provided a "client ledger card" to show the funds had been disbursed.

Those statements were false, the state bar said in its filing.

The state bar filed notice of disciplinary charges including failure to deposit the funds in a trust account, misappropriation, failure to maintain client funds and misrepresentation. The filing said she had 20 days to file a response. 

The Californian learned of the allegations late Thursday, and Stanley could not immediately be reached for comment at her office or home Thursday evening. 

Admitted to the state bar in 1996, Stanley has no prior public disciplinary actions listed against her. 

(5) comments


Where is this attorney now that she has been disbarred (as of 1/28/18 the state of CA officially disbarred her)? What’s the followup yo this story? Does the person she stole a million dollars from get her money back?

amtfor attorneys

why am I not shocked attorneys steal from clients we are there ATMS we should not hire attorneys go to court then the judge will be forced to hear your case and be careful how he handles it because then its on him STOP HIRING ATTORNEYS Iv seen judges handle people without attorneys and they took the time with an attorney the case has already decided at lunch and your wondering ha I haven't been heard.

Fraizer Park Investigator

And to think she had been doing "THIS" for 20 years. With no prior discipline it is like she fooled everyone into thinking she knew what she was doing.

Concerned Citizen of Bakersfield

They should give her a plastic cruxifix and let the BPD shoot her seven times

amtfor attorneys

right on but they won't they will stick together because there are a lot more attorneys ripping off

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